December 7, 2018 / 6:12 PM / in 9 days

Nigeria oil minister expects green light for Bonga oilfield by February

VIENNA, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Nigeria's oil minister expects a final investment decision (FID) on its Bonga Southwest offshore oilfield by February next year, he said on Friday on the sidelines of an OPEC meeting.

The project, one of the country's largest with an expected production of 180,000 barrels per day, will generate profit at below $50 a barrel, according to Royal Dutch Shell which operates the field.

"Negotiations (are) still going on. The contractual dynamics (are) still being perfected ...," Emmanuel Kachikwu told reporters. "Shell wants to do it by the end of the year. Probably it will slip into early next year for FID purposes ... Between now and February we should see a FID on Bonga."

Shell's partners in the project are ExxonMobil, Total, Eni and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company.

Kachikwo said Nigeria aimed to produce 2.2 million barrels next year.

Nigeria currently produces around 1.8 million barrels of crude oil, excluding extremely light oil known as condensates. The minister said that with production cuts agreed by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that number would be around 1.74 million.

As for the planned 650,000 barrel per day Dangote refinery project, Kachikwo said he expected production to start in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Reporting By Shadia Nasralla. Editing by Jane Merriman

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